September 19, 2011 08:00 AM
By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management
If you have children who went off to college this fall, they probably took a lot more items--and a lot more expensive items--than you did when you attended college two or three decades ago. Between the laptop, printer, smartphone, TV and perhaps an expensive bike--as well as clothes and other items--students can easily have several thousand dollars' worth of valuables in their dorm rooms or apartments.
Those valuables are tempting targets for thieves. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there were nearly 32,000 campus burglaries in 2008.
That's why it is a good idea to look into an insurance policy for your college kids. In most cases, the simplest option is renter's insurance, which you may be able to buy from the company that insures your home. Renter's insurance is especially important for students who rent apartments and, indeed, some landlords require it. You also may be able to put your children on your existing homeowner's policy, but if you maintain a $500 or $1,000 deductible, that might mean paying a significant out-of-pocket expense to replace Junior's laptop.
You can likely get quotes for renter's insurance from the agent who sold you your homeowner's policy. But you might also call other companies to compare rates and coverage. The policies generally are not expensive, with premiums ranging from $100 to $300 a year, depending on location and the amount of coverage. While these polices do have a deductible, it can be quite low, perhaps $50 or less.
The policy should have two types of coverage: personal property and liability. Preferably, the personal property part should cover the replacement cost of the actual item, not just a similar item. Liability insurance provides coverage against a claim or lawsuit resulting from bodily injury or property damage to others caused by an accident while on the policyholder's property.
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC INSURED • NOT A BANK DEPOSIT • NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
The information provided is solely for informational purposes. It is not an offer to buy or sell any of the securities, insurance products, investments, or other products named.
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